How Did World War II Really End?

Most discussions concerning the end of WWII focus on the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945. Few modern people realize that on August 9, 1945, as agreed upon at the Yalta Conference in February, 1945, the Russian army launched operation August Storm which blasted into Japanese troops holding Manchuria and Korea. A new book by historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, argues “the Soviet entry into the war played a much greater role than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow’s mediation.” The Emperor and the peace party within Japan realized if their country did not surrender to the US, Russia might land in their country and take possession of northern areas. It was a decision based on the concept of which was the lesser of two evils-the US or Russian forces pouring through Manchuria and Korea?

It is time to lay to rest how the atomic bomb was not necessary. In the words of Secretary of War Henry Stimson who hated the idea of using atomic bombs, they were the “least abhorrent choice of a dreadful array of options facing American leaders.” In the end, dreadful as it may sound, the bombs saved the lives of over a million Japanese people. These are not easy words to write, but they represent reality.

  • journeyer58

    Sir, normally I agree with the stances that you take in regards to war and the necessity of it and/or the abhorrence that is a part of your nature towards war.
    In this instance I however must disagree with your assessment of how and why the American President Harry Truman used the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    You missed the mark when it comes to the fact that even most of the generals disagreed with the tremendous loss of life incurred because Harry Truman wanted to show off the latest technology that he had in the atomic weapons.
    I, for one, abhor the act of war to begin with, but even more so, do I disagree with Harry Truman’s assessment of the necessity of using the atom bombs on highly populated areas and the more so on cities that were peaceful. He did this without warning and with malice and forethought for the loss of life and limb that occurred in Japan.