US Troops Didn't Question Japan's Atomic Bombings, Morality Issue Came Up Later - Veteran

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th August, 2023) American soldiers did not question President Harry Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan at the time, and the issue of morality came up years later, US WWII veteran Frank Cohn told Sputnik.

On August 6, 1945, the US dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

"There was great relief by the troops when this news was published, because we had been alerted that many of us were going to be shipped to the Pacific command in advance of the invasion of Japan. And with this bomb it was obvious that the war was going to be over and we will not have to go to the Pacific. There was no question for the troops that this bomb was a necessity at that time," Cohn said.

The issue of morality came up much later, the veteran observed.

"Now years later, the question came up again and there were many who claimed that the bomb should not have been used, that a demonstration might have been sufficient ... More and more people, particularly the younger generation, say that the bomb was evil and should never have been used. But those people were not in the military in those days," Cohn continued.

He said the US estimated at the time that a full-scale invasion of Japan would have caused millions of casualties on both the American and Japanese sides, far more than the number killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"While the loss of so many innocents is indeed a tragedy, events would have been worse had we not used the bomb under those circumstances," the 98-year-old retired US Army colonel argued. "That the bomb should be avoided presently is just about everybody's agreement."

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima killed 140,000 people. An estimated 74,000 were killed in Nagasaki. The vast majority of the victims were civilians.