65 years ago, August 6 and 9, 1945: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Monday, August 6, 1945, at , the nuclear bomb ‘Little Boy” was dropped on by an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000-140,000.” Hiroshima
“On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was the target of the world’s second atomic bomb attack at 11:02 a.m., when the north of the city was destroyed and an estimated 40,000 people were killed by the bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man.’ The death toll from the atomic bombing totalled 73,884, as well as another 74,909 injured, and another several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to fallout and other illness caused by radiation.”
In the European Theatre, World War II ended in early May 1945 with the capitulation of Nazi Germany. The “Big Three” on the side of the victors –
As the country that had made the biggest contribution and suffered by far the greatest losses in the conflict against the common Nazi enemy, the Soviet Union wanted major reparation payments from Germany and security against potential future aggression, in the form of the installation in Germany, Poland and other Eastern European countries of governments that would not be hostile to the Soviets, as had been the case before the war.
Negotiations among the Big Three would obviously never result in the withdrawal of the Red Army from
At the time of the German surrender in May 1945, the bomb was almost, but not quite, ready. Truman therefore stalled as long as possible before finally agreeing to attend a conference of the Big Three in
In the meantime the Japanese battled on in the
The Japanese believed that they could still afford the luxury of attaching a condition to their offer to surrender because the main force of their land army remained intact, in
In order to finish the war against
As far as the American leaders were concerned, a Soviet intervention in the war in the Far East threatened to achieve for the Soviets the same advantage which the Yankees’ relatively late intervention in the war in Europe had produced for the United States, namely, a place at the round table of the victors who would force their will on the defeated enemy, carve occupation zones out of his territory, change borders, determine postwar social-economic and political structures, and thereby derive for themselves enormous benefits and prestige.
The atomic bomb was ready just before the Soviets became involved in the
And so the Americans were stuck with a Soviet partner in the
Sixty-five years ago, Truman did not have to use the atomic bomb in order to force
With the passing of time, many historians have concluded that the bomb was used as much for political reasons…Vannevar Bush [the head of the American center for scientific research] stated that the bomb “was also delivered on time, so that there was no necessity for any concessions to
Truman himself, however, hypocritically declared at the time that the purpose of the two nuclear bombardments had been “to bring the boys home,” that is, to quickly finish the war without any further major loss of life on the American side. This explanation was uncritically broadcast in the American media and it developed into a myth eagerly propagated by the majority of historians and media in the
Jacques R. Pauwels, author of The Myth of the Good War:
 Jacques R. Pauwels, The Myth of the Good War:
 William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, revised edition,
 Quoted in Michael Parenti, The Anti-Communist Impulse,
 Gar Alperovitz Atomic Diplomacy:
 Pauwels, op. cit., p. 143.
 Alperovitz, op. cit., pp. 28, 156.
 Quoted in Alperovitz, op. cit., p. 24.
 Cited in David Horowitz, From
 Studs Terkel, «The Good War»: An Oral History of World War Two,
 Gary G. Kohls, “Whitewashing Hiroshima: The Uncritical Glorification of American Militarism,” http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/kohls1.html.
 Sean Dennis Cashman, , Roosevelt, and World War II, New York and London, 1989, p. 369.