To the editor:
This letter is in response to Mr. Bond’s April 14 letter. I don’t know where he got his historical information on the bombing of Japan, but here are a few facts and impressions.
Japan was not weeks from surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets not chosen by population; more people died in Tokyo by conventional bombs.
The Japanese were a proud, stubborn but fanatical enemy. The battle of Okinawa in March 1945 where they lost 100,000 men in kamikaze suicide bombers proved that. Japanese leaders believed they could make the cost of conquering Japan too high for the U.S. to accept, leading to an armistice instead of losing face in total defeat. Conservative estimates by the U.S. secretary of war, as well as civilian consultants, had American casualties of 750,000 and 250,000-500,000 dead. The estimates for Japan were 2-3 million casualties and over 1 million dead.
Do you not think the Japanese would not have used such a weapon against us? If not, read more about Pearl Harbor. I have talked to many World War II vets who agree with me that dropping the bomb was unfortunately necessary to end the war. Despite the terrible suffering it caused, it saved lives of millions of Japanese and Americans. I thank Harry Truman for making the tough decision and wonder if perhaps both Mr. Bond and myself would be discussing this today if he had not. We can hope that this decision never has to be made again.