Seventy years ago

Posted by Helen Thursday, August 06, 2015 ,

Seventy years ago the first atom bomb to be used in war was dropped on the  city of Hiroshima, the second one, on Nagasaki to follow two day later. It undoubtedly ushered in a new world politically and militarily and has remained in many people's minds the pre-eminent example of a war crime. In fact, the casualties incurred by the firebombing of Tokyo were higher and when it came to war crimes, there were many competitors for the title of the worst.

The decision to drop the two atom bombs was taken by President Harry S Truman because he  considered, probably rightly, that the this was the only way to bring the war in the Pacific to an end speedily without further very high American and Japanese casualties. That alternative would have probably meant many more British, Australian, Indian and other casualties.


  1. Demetrius Says:
  2. In August 1945 I was on holiday with family in Liverpool. We were all delighted when the bombs ended that war, not least because we had men in the East. What is often missing in the historians debates over certain features of the war is what the developing situation was like at home after six years of hardship etc. We were coming close to breakdown and it is little realised how close this was in some districts. Moreover the Japanese had all but destroyed effective government in many parts of the East which was going to be very hard to rebuild.

  3. Helen Says:
  4. It was a difficult decision to take but probably the right one. The war had to be ended. I think the question of effective government in the East or otherwise played little part in the decision.

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