Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Atomic bombs were unecessary to halt war with Japan

Letter sent to the Daily Telegraph on 5 August:
Many people, especially those from the Second World War generation and their offspring, share the view expressed by Christopher Devine ("Hiroshima and Nagasaki paid necessary price, "Letter, 5 August) that the use of two atomic bombs to immolate the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9th August 1945, ended the war with Japan and hence saved  many lives of allied service people (mainly American and British) who otherwise might have been involved in a ground invasion of Japan
As plausible as this sounds, it is contradicted by the documented facts, taken from contemporaneous documents of the US and Japanese Governments of 1945, researched and published by post war historians.
One US academic, Professor of History Gar Alperovitz, has published several detailed books based on primary sources from the atomic archives. including his magisterial 1995 study "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth" ( and Paul Ham's 620 page analysis in "Hiroshima Nagasaki: the real story of the atomic bombings and their aftermath", published in 2011.
As instances of dozens of pieces of evidence,intercepted diplomatic cables of 12-13 July 1945 show Japan's Emperor had intervened to attempt to end the war. prior to the use of the atomic bombs; and subsequent Intercepted cables showed Japan responding positively to a US offer of a surrender based on the "Atlantic Charter" as put forward in an official US Government radio broadcast  on 21 July 1945.
In his memoirs Admiral William D. Leahy, the President's Chief of Staff-and the top official who presided over meetings of both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined U.S.-U.K. Chiefs of Staff-minced few words, writing:
"The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." (

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