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Saturday, 7 August 2010

Anniversary of the A-Bomb

Yesterday was the anniversary of the dripping of the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. I have watched all the usual programmes detailing the horrific effects and the usual talking heads, none of whom fought for their countries in WW2, proclaiming the mantra that it was evil and unnecessary.

I have no doubt at all in my mind that it was horrific. Nor do I doubt that it caused immense pain and suffering for the citizens of Hiroshima. I agree that we should mark the event and remember those who died that day and in the days following. Nor should we forget that tomorrow marks the fall of the second bomb on Nagasaki and the thousands who died there. Did they die in vain?

I do not believe so. In fact I am firmly in agreement with the analysts who, at the time and with the full knowledge of what the Japanese military intended to do, in response to an Allied invasion, determined that the dropping of these two bombs finally convinced the Japanese High Command that they had no option but to sue for peace or face anihilation of their people.

That decision probably saved the Allies over a half million casualties and the Japanese several million. That it shortened the war by at least six months was something my father, who was there and fighting the Japanese, did not doubt.

We should remember the victims, but we should keep the decision to drop the bomb in perspective. Ultimately it did save lives.

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