Examining the Ivevitability of the Atom Bomb
The date is August 2nd, 1939. Physicist Albert Einstein has just completed the first of a series of five letters to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In it he urges Roosevelt to support research toward the construction of an “extremely powerful” bomb. “A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.”
Albert and his colleagues vastly underestimated the power and magnitude of the weapons they were to create. The world had never seen anything as awesome as the bomb’s destructive endowment on loan from God. The Japanese could never have predicted what fate held for them.
Predictability, however, is different than inevitability. The bomb was destined to be fabricated by some country, at some time. The Germans and French were leading the way, in a mad race to be the first to create nuclear devices. Germany was especially desperate towards the end of the war, the bomb being their last result. The question was when, where, and most importantly, how big.
Roosevelt did not catch on to the race until the U. S. was sucked into the war. He then approved the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was the effort to develop, test, and deploy a weapon of mass destruction. FDR never lived long enough to see the disposition of the new implement of war.
Japan was never a country to surrender easily. On Iwo Jima, less than 1,000 of the 22,000 Japanese defenders survived. They took their oath to heart, their oath to kill 10 United States Marines before they die, the same way they kill “snakes” in their homes. They took this to heart. Iwo Jima was an 8 square mile pile of ash, hardly something most people would so dearly fight. Now, imagine the threat of the infamous Marines landing on the homeland. It was ungodly to think of this happening, but it was not preventable. The U. S. estimated at least 1,000,000 American lives would be lost in the conquest. The Japanese would obviously fight harder than the previous “kill 10 before be killed” philosophy, but lets just figure they did follow this standard. That would be another 100,000 Japanese military deaths, let alone the civilian casualties. The 2 bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki only cost 185,000 casualties which does not mean just deaths, but also includes injuries, which significantly lowers the net total of deaths. Lives were saved, and the war was ended.
Japan asked the United States to bomb them. They were practically sending us an invitation, reading, “C’mon Yanks, try us.” On July 26th, 1945, a few weeks after the completion of the bomb, the Potsdam Declaration was bequeathed to Japan. It assured the Japanese that unless they complied to a complete surrender, there would be an “inevitable and complete destruction of Japan.”
The Empire of Japan signed its death warrant on July 26th, 1945 when she scoffed at our offer for survival. We were completely justified in dropping the bomb. In essence, the United States of America did not annihilate Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their own emperor did. He sealed the envelope of destiny. The dropping of the nuclear bomb was unstoppable and inevitable.
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