This post got slightly delayed for a few different reasons, but better late than never, right?
August 6, 1945 was the day that the world was plunged into the atomic age. Every time I turn around I am hearing about people who believe that it was inherently wicked of America to unleash the Atomic Bomb on Japan to end World War Two.
Let’s check out some facts regarding it, and you can see for yourself what you think was right.
- Warnings Were Given
Days before we dropped the first Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, America sent planes over to drop thousands of pamphlets warning the Japanese people that if their Emperor did not surrender, we would bring swift disaster on their city. We urged them to leave the cities, because we would bring them to the ground with superior weapons, the like of which the world had never seen before.
The warning was given. Japan had been offered what was then known as, The Thirteen Part Surrender Declaration. It was our terms with which surrender had to take place. Japan ignored our terms of surrender, choosing to keep fighting.
After the first Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, we again dropped leaflets from the sky over Japan. The headlines on these pamphlets pleaded,
Attention Japanese People. Evacuate Your Cities.
It went on to read:
“Before we use this bomb again and again to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, petition the emperor now to end the war…Act at once, or we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.”
2. It Saved Lives
The Atomic Bomb was truly a devastating weapon. It is heartbreaking that so many lives had to be lost to finally bring such a bloody war to an end.
The truth of the matter is though, that when America detonated the Atomic Bomb on Japan, it saved more lives than it killed. Yes, you read that correctly. You see the only other way that the war would be brought to an end was if America invaded the homeland of Japan. An invasion was imminent. It was going to happen one way or another. There was no arguing that fact. Actually troops had begun to be gathered and were being prepared for the invasion. The codename for the planned invasion was Operation Downfall. One of my Great Grandpas was among the troops gathered for the impending invasion.
Japan was fighting doggedly, but they knew that they couldn’t hold out forever. They began training the civilians of their homeland in how to be soldiers. Women, children, the elderly were all being trained to fight when the time came for America to invade. A type of warfare fought on the Japanese mainland would’ve been a blood bath never before seen by mankind. It was estimated that roughly 300,000 Americans would die in an invasion of Japan. And that was only Americans! Roughly 10 million Japanese civilians would’ve become casualties if America had invaded like we planned. The lives that would’ve been lost would’ve been a horribly large number.
When both bombs were dropped, an estimated 105,000 people were killed. That is a fraction of the amount that would’ve been killed had we not dropped the Atomic bomb.
Is it terribly heartbreaking that so many souls were lost? Yes! Nothing will ever change how sad that is. But if the war had continued, so many more would’ve died.
3. It Was Not The Deadliest Bombing of World War Two
Most people falsely think of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki as being the deadliest, most destructive bombings in the history of the world. Actually, that isn’t true.
Operation Meetinghouse was the deadliest bombing attack in history. It was a firebomb attack carried out on Tokyo, by American B-29 bombers. 100,000 people were killed in the Operation Meetinghouse bombing.
4. It Was Built In A Secret City
When work began on the Atomic Bomb, it became quite obvious that a place was needed to work on this project in secret. The world couldn’t know that America was building an Atom Bomb. It was already known that Germany was working on attempting to build one as well. It was a race to see who would emerge with one first. In order to keep it all a secret, an entire city was built in Tennessee.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee was the birthing place of the weapon that would end the war. Oak Ridge was built practically over night. The project was so secret that even those who worked in Oak Ridge didn’t know what they were building. They were told that everything seen or heard inside the walls of Oak Ridge, had to be completely forgotten outside its confines. It was a strict don’t-ask-questions sort of job. They weren’t even allowed to share anything about their work with their spouses! No-one could know what was taking shape within the fences and guarded gates of Oak Ridge.
To those who lived near Oak Ridge, the mysterious city held so much intrigue. Everyone wanted to know what was going on inside its walls. It all came tumbling out when word reached the United States that we had dropped the Atomic Bomb.
5. It Was Above Top Secret
The Manhattan Project, as the Atomic Bomb was nicknamed, was so top secret that even the Vice President had no knowledge of it being worked on. When FDR died, and Truman took office, he was brought into the loop of what The Manhattan Project was. I can’t even imagine the magnitude of how much responsibility he must’ve been feeling when presented with the information. A weapon more deadly than had ever been known to mankind, and it was resting in his hands.
The miracle of it all was that somehow the project actually did remain completely secret until the day that it was dropped on Hiroshima. That, in and of itself, was a miracle.
There you have it! Five facts you may or may not have known about the Atomic bomb. It’s always held a bit of fascination for me, because my Great Grandpa was present at the testing of the Atomic bomb and used to talk about it.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
A. M. Watson