U.S. military leaders drew up elaborate plans to invade Japan, with estimates of American casualties ranging as high as two to four million, given the terrible losses at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
American leaders called the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki our 'least abhorrent choice,' but there were alternatives to the nuclear attacks.
As defeat became inevitable in the summer of 1945, Japan's government and the Allies could not agree on surrender terms, especially regarding the future of Emperor Hirohito and his throne.
When judging the morality of the use of atomic weapons in World War II, observers typically focus on Japanese deaths, while ignoring the far-larger number of non-Japanese casualties.
In the spring of 1945, American bombing raids destroyed much of Tokyo and dozens of other Japanese cities, killing at least 200,000 people, without forcing a surrender.
The U.S. government managed to hide the magnitude of what happened in Hiroshima until John Hersey’s story appeared in the New Yorker, driving home the truth about America’s new mega-weapon.
Stationed near Nagasaki at the close of the war, a young photographer ventured into the devastated city and stayed for months.
Truman was Commander in Chief of the American armed forces, and he had a duty to the men under his command not shared by those sitting in moral judgment decades later