Was the atomic bombing of Japan justifiable?


It is becoming commonplace on Remembrance or Veterans’ Day, 11th of November, for peace activists (and others with political or ideological agenda) to write to newspapers demanding that Americans, British and Australians also remember the civilian victims of alleged British and American “atrocities” in WW II. In the case of the British, reference is usually made to the bombing of German cities, and in particular, Dresden. Adolf Hitler’s sustained terror bombing campaign against the civilian populations of London and other British cities appears to be conveniently ignored. In the case of Americans, reference is usually made to the atomic bombing of Japan in August 1945, and it is sometimes suggested that Japan was selected as a target for the atomic bomb only because the Japanese are Asian. In other words, it is suggested that Western racism was involved.

As the Pacific War Historical Society is concerned primarily with events of the Pacific War 1941-45, comments on this issue will be restricted to some of the considerations that actually exercised the minds of those who decided that the atomic bomb should be used against Japan.




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