And in that history, new, definitive evidence has finally surfaced that the atomic bombing there was completely unjustified.
More than 80,000 human beings perished in Nagasaki three days after at least that many died in Hiroshima.
The Bomb that destroyed this historic city was made of plutonium (Hiroshima's was uranium).
Whatever the case for nuking Hiroshima, it was far weaker for Nagasaki.
The US had already shown it had this ultimate weapon. It showed it was willing to use it. And it now had time to wait for the Japanese to gather themselves and surrender, which so many believe they were trying to do.
Lingering doubts about Hiroshima and Nagasaki have only multiplied over six decades. Statements from American strategists include one to the effect that the first bomb showed we had it and were willing to use it, while the second showed we were willing to use it irrationally.
Many believe the US used the both to scare the Soviets.
But the Soviets were probably the real reason Japan surrendered. New evidence, finally unearthed after six decades, indicates the Japanese wanted to avoid Soviet troops dissecting their island as they had already divided Germany. The Bomb may have had little to do with their submission.
Which is a tremendous multiple irony.
For years Franklin Roosevelt lobbied Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to enter the war against Japan. FDR did not want to go it alone in a land invasion.
Stalin had his hands full with Hitler. And after beating the Germans, his country was decimated. Stalin was not eager for more expensive warfare against the Japanese, with whom he had maintained an uneasy neutrality.
But Roosevelt died in April, 1945. Relations between the US and USSR deteriorated. Harry Truman was far more hostile to the Soviets than FDR had been.
And he was willing to use the Bomb to intimidate Stalin---or so he thought.
Stalin's spy network had already made him well aware of the Bomb and what it could do. Nor is there reason to believe he ever doubted Truman would use it.
By August, 1945, Truman was far less eager to have the Soviets marching into Japan than FDR had been. Victory seemed certain. The Americans were not keen to share an occupation with the Russians, as they had to do in Germany.
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