Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Not that I’ve done any, like actual research on the subject, but the dropping of the Bomb on these cities never seemed justified to me. The reason given in standard 9 history is that it saved a million lives by preventing the need for an invasion of Japan. The figure, one million is obviously pulled out of someone’s arse, but the point could still stand.
Oliver Kamm’s a clever guy and he has a go at explaining why the bombs had to be dropped. I feel like I could be convinced by this didn’t do it.
I have a few questions (they may be stupid questions) that the article doesn’t answer.

  • Why two bombs rather than one (or three?)
  • Why those cities? There are reasons, but what were the criteria? Wasn’t the bombing largely symbolic?
  • There is major emphasis on saving American lives. What was the ratio of Japanese civilians to American soldiers were they willing to tolerate. There should be an answer to this and I doubt I would be impressed by the number.

Added: The answer to the first question is a little too obvious to keep like that. What I mean is why were the two bombs dropped so close together? Maybe three days is a long time to think after a nuclear bomb. I donno.

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