Dropping The Atomic Bomb - By Richard Russell - August 9, 2005
Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic
bomb drop on Himoshima. The bomb resulted in 140,000 Japanese
dead. And the belated arguments go oil as to whether tile US
have dropped the bomb. At the time, the war was
in Europe. The US had suffered
massive casualties and tens of thousands dead. The war in the
and it was
The US had taken 27,000 casualties in seizing the 8 square miles
of Iwo Jima
Japanese troops. The US
the Japanese don't surrender, they were
willing to die almost to the last man. Roughly 6,000
Japanese stood ready (all Volunteers) to fly
the certain-death Kamikaze missions. The US had taken 49,000
Supporting the Okinawa battle, the
US Navy lost or suffered damage to 350 ships, while 10,000 US
sailors had been wounded or killed.
Meanwhile, the US military was working on plans
to attack Japan itself. At the time Japan had 4 million
well-trained soldiers, 2.4 million of them stationed in Japan. The
US military believed an attack on Japan could cost an many as
250,000 casualties with at least 60,000 US dead. Some estimated a
lot more, possibility as many as a million US casualties and dead.
I had just returned from combat in Europe and was
scheduled to transfer from the B-25 Mitchell bomber to the faster
Douglas A-26 "Invader" bomber. I was on a 30-day leave, following
which I would be heading for the Pacific. My thought was --"I got
through Europe, but is it possible that I could get out alive from
the Pacific too? Could any bombardier be that lucky?" I
consoled my frightened parents by telling them what a great plane
the A-26 was, "much faster and safer" then the B-25 (I loved the
B-25, it could take a fearful beating and return home.)
And then the news of Hiroshima and Nagasaki came
out and shocked the world, including the US military, who had no
hint of the atomic bomb. Against the wishes of the Japanese
military (who would have fought to the bitter end, they didn't
believe in surrender), Japan's Emperor announced that Japan would
Every guy in the military that I knew was elated.
And millions of American mothers and fathers looked to the heavens
and thanked God that their kids were still alive. I went down to
Time Square, and it was a total mad house. People were kissing
each other, hugging each other, kissing strangers -- some were
crying, others were drinking, hysteria reigned. I doubt if
anything like that had ever been seen in New York before or since.
A few weeks later I got my discharge papers. Next
day I went down to Washington Square and registered at NYU under
the GI Bill.
Should we have dropped the bomb, or should we have
invaded Japan the hard way? Don't even ask me that question. When
I hear young people or academics arguing that to drop the bomb was
inhuman and immoral I simply ask then where they were in 1945. I
don't know where they were, but I damn well knew where they
weren't. They weren't in the military in that fateful year 1945.
Richard Russell began publishing Dow Theory
Letters in 1958, and has been writing the Letters ever since. Dow
Theory Letters is the oldest service continuously written by one
person in the business.