When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor at 7:55 AM on December 7, 1941, it wasn’t the beginning of the end as the Japanese had planned but instead the beginning of retaliation. Having called for unconditional surrender of Japan under threat of "prompt and utter destruction" from the United States, the first atomic bomb, "Fat Boy", was dropped on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 in the final stages of WWII. The Japanese still did not surrender.
This Day in History: August 9, 1945
|Atomic bomb mushroom clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right)|
What may or may not be known is that General Leslie R. Groves estimated a third bomb would be ready to use against Japan by August 17 or 18—fortunately this was not necessary. Japan surrendered! But look at the cost for a surrender that could have occurred without such devastating blows.
History speaks for itself. Much has been written, even more has been said. What happened happened. No turning back. No wiping the slate clean. Concentration now should be on doing everything possible to avoid anything of this magnitude ever happening again. [The figures on the number of people who succumbed to the bombings depend upon the source of the data analysis. The numbers do vary and it is widely known the death toll expanded through the years following the initial blast.] Source: Retaliation
"There are voices which assert that the bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas. […] I am surprised that very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt the position that rather than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives."
—Winston Churchill, leader of the Opposition, in a speech to the British House of Commons, August 1945
Which side would you debate?