We should celebrate this day.
We should celebrate it because on this day, 70 years ago, America demonstrated its scientific and technological superiority over an evil enemy.
Imperial Japan was an evil, evil regime. And its evil had infected the Japanese people to an horrific extent. The Japanese people supported, totally, a regime which exhibited genocidal racism and human rights abuses on a scale seldom previously seen.
What Imperial Japan did to the Chinese in Nanking and Manchuria was beyond description. What it did to the people of Indonesia and Southeast Asia was little better.
What Imperial Japan did to the British and American soldiers and civilians it captured at the beginning of the war was unforgivable. The Japanese custom in war was to accept death before surrender, and so it regarded prisoners as cowards and traitors unworthy of humane treatment.
Japan was evil, and Japan deserved everything it got. Imperial Japan was every bit as racist, violent, supremacist, exploitative and sadistic as Nazi Germany – perhaps even more so in some respects.
The military railroad the Japanese were building through Malaysia and Thailand was a project the British had considered building prior to the war but opted not to – because the process of building a railroad through the impenetrable, disease-ridden jungles of Southeast Asia was thought to be so dangerous and so difficult as to be inhumane. The workers on that railroad would surely die at staggering rates unacceptable to a civilized nation.
Japan threw the British out of Southeast Asia and proceeded to use British prisoners as the labor on the railroad the British were too decent to demand of the natives.
That’s the regime America dropped a nuclear bomb on at Hiroshima 70 years ago today.
Japan would not change its behavior due to conventional military defeat. Japan had been suffering conventional military defeats for more than a year prior to Hiroshima, some of which had been catastrophic. And those defeats weren’t out in the Pacific by any means; they had been happening over the skies of the home islands. American bombers had been delivering death and destruction to Japan’s cities for months and years by the time Hiroshima came under the bombsights on Aug. 6, 1945. Some 40 percent of the buildings in Tokyo had been flattened by American incindiary bombs. Nearly 60 percent of the buildings in Yokohama had been flattened. Better than a third of Kobe and Osaka had been wiped out.
Still, the Japanese had not surrendered.
America lost 13,000 killed at Okinawa, a jumping-off point to the home islands. Japanese losses there numbered over 100,000.
The initial plan for the invasion of Japan called for 767,000 Americans to storm the beaches of Kyushu, the southernmost of the main home islands – four times the amphibious invasion of France. The first wave was expected to take casualties of 90 percent.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans – many of whom would have braved bullets and bombs in the fight across Europe, only to perish amid the carnage of an invasion of Japan – would have fallen. Millions of Japanese would have died.
And more, if the expected meat grinder in southern Japan had dragged on far into 1946 it would have been quite likely that the Soviet Union would have commenced its own invasion – likely splitting Japan south and north the same way Korea and Vietnam were split.
The only acceptable outcome was to end the war as soon as possible with a Japanese capitulation. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons were what was available in service of that end.
Harry Truman’s courage and decisiveness saved lives, probably in the millions.
Today is a day that should be celebrated.
Bill Whittle, several years ago, delivered perhaps the best treatment of the Hiroshima bombing, and the best rebuke to the leftist revision of history which calls it a war crime, yet produced. See it here.