Skip to main content

The Bomb

May 2024
1min read

In the last paragraph of his article “The Biggest Decision: Why We Had to Drop the Bomb” (May/June), Robert James Maddox makes a point that is most important yet is seldom noted by prodecision historians and columnists. At home everyone knew about the casualties on land and sea in the Okinawa campaign. And we knew the Japanese never surrendered in battle. The home islands had to be invaded even if it meant heavy casualties. So for the President or anyone else to hold back a powerful new weapon was unthinkable. The passion to win the war overrode everything else. I can only think those who believe that Truman could and should have said no are too young to remember and understand the all-pervasive sentiment in the U.S. in 1945.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this magazine of trusted historical writing, now in its 75th year, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate