The front-page article commemorating the victims of the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II certainly reminded us of the horrors of nuclear weapons. It also reminded me of the complete rejection of the truth that is prevalent in those who now subscribe to “revisionist history.”
Loss of life is always tragic, especially when it involves civilians during wartime. Revisionist historians downplay the fact that Japan was the aggressor who started the war in the Pacific. They also refuse to admit that the atomic bombing of Japan saved many more lives than it cost.
As a retired lieutenant colonel and graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, I have a deep understanding of how our military operates and the manner in which they make tactical decisions. When planning all operations, the loss of life, both military and civilian, is always part of the process. While evaluating a possible invasion of Japan, it was determined that the death toll would likely exceed 1 million people. Well over 100,000 would have been U.S. military personnel.
Japan’s emperor convinced his population that they should be prepared to fight to the death, even if they were armed with nothing but sticks. After Japan’s devastating loss in the battle of Midway, he knew that it was only a matter of time before America invaded his country. He refused to surrender.
With complete supremacy of the seas and the skies, we launched a series of devastating fire-bombing attacks, hoping to convince the emperor that resistance was futile. He refused to surrender.
Even after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, our demand for unconditional surrender was refused. Three days later, the second atomic bomb finally had the desired effect. It was the arrogance of the emperor, even in the face of certain defeat, that drove the United States to use those horrible weapons to end the war.
Japan is now a peace-loving country. If they had been successful in WWII, I doubt that would be true today.