I know what the big guys told the country back then … but what about the not-quite-as-big who had more direct experience with the use of lethal force?
What did they think about it?
This is well worth and recommended reading.
The problem with political hawks is that the temptation to shoot first and ponder the act afterwards is greater… and not the same thing as shooting first in an actual combat moment when to shoot second is to possibly never shoot again.
“Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives. But most of the top American military officials at the time said otherwise.”
The Real Reason America Dropped the Bomb on Japan – trueactivist.com
“Admiral William Leahy – the highest ranking member of the U.S. military from 1942 until retiring in 1949, who was the first de facto Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and who was at the center of all major American military decisions in World War II – wrote (pg. 441):
It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.
The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”