On August 6, 1945, the world (unfortunately) entered the atomic age. Without warning, a single nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima killed about 90,000 people instantly and injured many others – who then died from radiation sickness. Three days later, a second atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki killed some 37,000 people and injured another 43,000. Together the two bombs eventually killed an estimated 200,000 Japanese civilians.
“The Library of Congress adds roughly 60 million pages to its holdings each year, a huge cache of information for the public. However, also each year, the U.S. Government classifies nearly ten times that amount – an estimated 560 million pages of documents. For scholars engaged in political, historical, scientific, or any other archival work, the grim reality is that most of their government’s activities are secret.” – Richard Dolan, historian, author (source) (you can read more about what is known as the “black budget” here)
A very important point made above, how can we really know anything about American history if a significant portion of it remains classified? That being said, how can we really know anything about American history when we have so many examples of dishonesty and misinformation? What will the history books say about 9/11? We will have to wait and see, but what our history books tell us about the atomic bomb and why it was dropped seems to be a complete lie, according to what are some very credible sources.
We are often taught that yes, use of the atomic bomb was necessary to end the war with Japan at the earliest possible moment, but judging by the statements of many high ranking political and military personnel this is simply not the case.
Here’s what General/President Dwight Eisenhower had to say about it in his 1963 memoir, The White House Years: Mandate for Change, 1953-1956 (pp. 312-313):
“Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly, our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of “face.” (source)
“The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing… I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.” (source)