MovieChat Forums > Hadashi no Gen (1983) Discussion > Was it right to drop the bomb?

Was it right to drop the bomb?


Forgive me for not knowing to much about the war but to me it seems like killing alot of innocent people was wrong. I have tried to read why japan attacked us and who was at fault but its hard to figure that out. But my main question is was it the right thing to do or should we have looked for more options? Did it save Japanese lives as well as Americans? Or did it just save our own skin? Or was it simply revenge for Pearl Harbor? Were we at fault or the Japanese government? Imho i dont think it was right to do that at least not that way if we had to bomb them we should not have used a nuke because of the radiation.


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yes if we wouldn't have done it many more would have died we needed to show germany, japan, and the soviets we ment buisness if not we along with many others would not be here today

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[deleted]

Keep drinking dat red, white and blue Kool Aid.

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And you continue to ignore history.

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History currently looks back at the atomic bomb as one of the worst, most evil moments in human history; it has never been repeated, not should it. You are the historical ignoramous, 'bro'. Maybe leaving comments on Roseanne episodes is more suited to your intellectual depth.

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[deleted]

No, it wasn't right... it was extremely wrong.
And at least in part, it was revenge for Pearl Harbor. Though there was one big difference: Pearl Harbor was specifically a military target. Hiroshima was not.

It was also a psychological weapon done to demoralize the Japanese. But this show of force could have been done without dropping them on the civilian populations of 2 cities, while producing the same result; the surrender of Japan.

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I agree fully.


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" Though there was one big difference: Pearl Harbor was specifically a military target. Hiroshima was not. "

Theres another big difference as well. America and Japan was not at war when Pearl Harbor happened.

Somebody here has been drinking and I'm sad to say it ain't me - Allan Francis Doyle

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I sadly disagree. The impact of this bombing ended the war because of its statement. It was brutal and extreme and haunting.

Also, Pearl Harbor did kill of a lot of non-military people, just not intentionally.

In both points, killing military perssonel was expected. It's war....killing off a whole island with one bomb however, is something else entirely.

"Life is a movie. Write your own ending. Keep believing. Keep pretending"-Kermit

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The dropping of the atom bombs were an act of terror, no different from 9/11

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Uh, no? It's completely different.

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An almost impossibly difficult question, I agree.

When I was at school, here in London, in the Sixties, we were discussing this one day, and our teacher agreed with us that dropping the bomb on Hiroshima had been an appalling thing to do. But she remembered being a schoolgirl herself, in 1945, coming home from school and her mother meeting her at the door. "Darling, wonderful news! Marvellous news! The Americans have invented a new sort of bomb, they've dropped just one on Japan, and now the Japanese will have to surrender, now the war will be over at last!"

It's hard for us to imagine this sort of feeling, but that's how it was seen at the time. And perhaps it did save Japanese, as well as Allied, lives, by ending the war then instead of months, maybe even years, later. Nobody knows; nobody will ever know. Let's be thankful that we live now, in comparative peace, and not then.

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[deleted]

Everyone will have different opinions of it. I personally feel that the Americans wanted to test their new bomb "on the field" and what better a target then Japan? Knowing full well that the Japanese civilians, man woman and child, were also willing to fight for their emperor to the death they decided to use their bomb.

What the American military neglect to tell you in all this is that they already had broken the Japanese cyphers, just like the English and Polish alliance at Bletchley Park had done with the German Enigma Code, and had the Japanese military cornered. That has only recently been declassified (in fact it featured on a show called "Secrets of World War II") and does add an interesting point to the argument.

I will close with the following question/dilemma to chew on.
Yes the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were horrific on so many levels, but imagine if they had never happened and no one knew about the horrifically devastating effects of fallout radiation. Would the world leaders have been "trigger happy" with nuclear weapons? Would we have already had WW3 and now be a starving, cold, epidemic ridden, slowly dying race? Maybe those deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have saved far more then American and Japanese lives. They may have saved you (and your loved ones) from a lingering, painful, radioactive death.

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Your closing dilemma is dangerous: It may have been a good thing (dropping the bomb) as a warning for humankind. But that does not mean the American military acted right with the information aviable at that time.

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The military is a sociopathic killing machine of course the nuking of a city, let alone 2 wasn't necessary.

All the U.S needed to do was advertise a fake invasion, the size similar to D-Day and then when Japan mustered it's troops on the shore to meet them, they would nuke them once.

Once that happened, the military would know they are finished and they would have surrendered.

But u.s and british military leaders by that time were too bloodthirsty.

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In my opinion, soldiers were fully prepared and ready to die, civilians were not. And the aftereffects of the bomb more than did damage that wouldn't have been caused by traditional warfare. That's why I think we shouldn't have done it.

"Too bad you can't reload your game and try again." Cassidy- Fallout 2

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Right is the wrong word. I dont think the Empire of Japan was a threat to the USA anyway, ok they attacked pearl harbor (so we are led to believe, some "conspiracy theorists" would argue different just like Lusitania theories or 9/11) but apart from that they took insignificant pacific islands, they were a threat to the greatly weakened British empire and they took Singapore and gained support in India with nationalists. But even so the Japanese didn't match the British in terms of hardware or manpower.

The Japanese, lets not forget were absolutely evil in there treatment of POW and civilians. I know all nations commit atrocities but I think the Japanese would take first prize for being terrible. Of course there would of been Japanese soldiers that did not take part in rapes, torture, biological weapons spreading etc. I think the Japanese still largely ignore just how bad there forces were to people.

As for the bombs, did they need to be dropped? In terms of war and how the world sadly works then yes. Did they need to drop two, I would say no and that dropping two was just a way of testing the two different types of bomb and a way for the USA to flex its new found muscles to the Soviets, France and Britain. Its also important to remember that incendiary and high explosive bombs killed far more than either of the atomic bombs, so should we focus so much on the atomic bombs when the other conventional bombs were worse. Either way the whole thing is just plain wrong, all war is. Its the pawns that suffer, the people that start them and benefit from them usually do fine. We should also remember just how obscene it was to have two huge wars so close together, and then have many more after and to this day. Its crazy but we are brainwashed to accept it and do very little to stop it.

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"I know all nations commit atrocities but I think the Japanese would take first prize for being terrible."

Given everything we know about the Nazi concentration camps, gas chambers, etc., I'd have to say no, first prize still has to go to Germany. Even second prize is questionable considering some of the things the Croatian Ustase did, especially to the Serbs.

I would also seriously question the assertion that "all nations commit atrocities."

"I don't deduce, I observe."

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Did they even study radiation before nuclear bombs were invented? How come they never tested it before they dropped the bomb on a populated city?

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They did test it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_test

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I am ethnically Chinese.

Ever since young, I grew up on stories from my grandparents of the horrors they witnessed the Japanese committed.

Anyone thinking the bombing was cruel, then may I ask what about the innocent victims the Japanese massacred?

I love the Japanese culture. In fact I am actively learning the Japanese language right now. I love JPOP, manga, anime, jap food, I love making Japanese friends.

But the cruelty of the Japanese army and their hypocrisy of the government of not admitting to war time atrocities disgust me, despite it being several generations away.

You know, American or British people could make it sound easy that the bombing was cruel, because it was not your own people who got slaughtered by the Japanese, mindlessly experimented like rats by Unit 731.

But take it from me, if the ones being harmed were your own people, its an entirely different feeling altogether.

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Whats wrong is not the bombing, what is wrong is this stupid war.

So many innocent people, have to suffer so much because of it.

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Yes indeed. War is wrong. What an inciteful young chap you are.

Please vote Ikiru into the top 250:
www.imdb.com/title/tt0044741/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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War is wrong.
This sums up everything.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009K5DV6Q

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Mass murder of civilians is always wrong. Always. This was an intentional attempt to murder entire cities of civilians.

People who say it was necessary to end the war have been fed lies by the history books. The war was completely unwinnable for the Japanese at the time of the bombings. Germany had been defeated already. The US had won many major battles.

Dropping the bomb wasn't really about winning the war, we were going to win anyway (and most likely very quickly), it was about showing everyone what we were capable of. It was more a move to show off the country's power.

Many people say the Japanese would not easily surrender, and that is true. However, that didn't matter as they were no longer a threat. Saying it saved so many lives, well it probably did save some lives, but certainly nowhere near the amount of lives that were taken by the bombings. I know these were Japanese lives but despite being American, I view everyone's life as equally important. American lives are not more important.

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Man it must be great to have the luck of living in the future and judging people in the past based on what little knowledge they had and shaming people for decisions based on what you believe to be "whose lives are more important" instead of "this war needs to end because Japan won't give up and millions more will be killed if something doesn't end this".

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The use of the A-Bomb will be argued for a hundred years, until all the secret docs have been revealed. Did FDR and the military know Japanese warplanes were headed to Hawaii? Well, how can anyone miss 320 planes in day light?

A)The Russian advance from the North was stopped; The U.S. showed them what they have.
B)The war did in fact end; thus, the ends justify the means.
C)If killing 120,000 civilians justify saving 1million, then why didnt the U.S. use the bomb in Viet Nam? Oh, because then the Russians would use it on any nation they wished to invade!

D)Why was Germany allowed to re-arm after WWI? Guess who profited from weapons sales, oil, iron, etc.

E)Why wasnt the A-Bomb used on Germans instead? Because they are white!

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Most people aren't aware of the Kyūjō Incident, an attempted coup
on the night before the surrender broadcast from the Emperor was
made. Had it not been for an errant bomb from a bomber on one of
the last missions of the war, causing a blackout that made it very
difficult for the rebels to pull of the coup, it might have been
successful and the military able to continue the war.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyūjō_Incident

Also, it's strange that so many people condemn the atom bomb but
never mention the nearly 1 million people who died from the
firebombings of Japan's cities in the 3 months prior. Again,
people don't seem to be aware that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were
military cities with large military industrial facilities. Also,
by that time a lot of war production had moved from factories
into homes spread throughout the cities.

War is awful. The way to end war is to make it so awful that one
side will bring it to an end.

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Interesting responses on this thread.
Though I find that resorting to such destruction, specially on civil targets, is not right, I have to admit this:

The fact that the Japanese didn't surrender after the first bomb shows that resorting to a nuclear attack was at least not "too much".
Had they surrendered immediately after the Hiroshima strike, one could have asked: "Americans, are you out of your minds? Couldn't you have gone for something a bit less overestimated"?
But even that wasn't enough to make the war stop, so perhaps, sadly, in the end it proved useful to prevent the war lasting much longer.

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Saw this for the first time last night - I'd seen Grave of the Fireflies and watched documentaries on Hiroshima years back, but this hit my a lot harder than I'd expected it to and probably one of the hardest things I've ever watched.

I disagree with the dropping of the bomb. It's not just the fact that this would involve more civilians than Pearl Harbour (and as others have said, military casualties are expected and accepted as part of war) - I think it was something like 4 or 5 times more civilian casualties than than military after Hiroshima. It's the sheer suffering. I'm not saying that getting blown up from the impact of a doodle bug or being gunned down or firebombed isn't horrific, but the appalling injuries, mutations, contamination and psychological impact (for example, the fear of the unknown and unexperienced - not understanding the black rain, why people are getting sick from radiation), not to mention the long-term health effects....that's something else entirely. I consider it to be a crime against humanity.

From my understanding, Japan were losing anyway but perhaps it was all looking a bit too expensive for the Allies to conduct a land invasion (even though they'd spent something like 2 billion developing the bomb), although I believe Japan should have surrendered after Hiroshima without question so in my view, they aren't without blame, and the UK authorised the attack. What angers me is the censorship and propaganda that was conducted afterwards, shielding the public from reality.

There are sources that claim the US dropped millions of leaflets to civilians in several cities (although not specifically mentioning atomic weapons to Hiroshima civilians) before they dropped both bombs, but, as they say, the victors of war write the history... It looks as though leaflets specifically mentioning nuclear weapons were dropped on Nagasaki and advising civilians to look to Hiroshima for an idea of the devastation, but how much the public knew and understood about what had happened days earlier in Hiroshima was very likely to be limited and after all, this was the world's first (and I hope last) experience of a nuclear attack.

Had Hiroshima been properly warned, perhaps it would have been largely evacuated first so the US's message to surrender wouldn't have had quite so much impact, but Hiroshima was a strategic target so at least some of their objective would presumably have been met by obliterating the infrastructure and contaminating the land, and at this point they wouldn't have known that Japan wouldn't surrender. The US had a load more bombs lined up for the coming months anyway so could have always upped the ante so I still believe it was way too heavy-handed.

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