75 years ago President Truman’s decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan is largely seen as avoiding an estimated 500,000 to a million American casualties in a Japan invasion.
Truman made the “the least bad [decision] of the alternatives” says Henry I. Miller, at Human Events. The U.S. had recently suffered 18,000 dead and 78,000 wounded between February and June 1945 at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
John V. Denson at Mises Insitute contends the saving-lives reason to drop the bombs was a myth created when opposition over the decision grew.
General Dwight Eisenhower, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William Leahy and Admiral William Halsey all opposed the bombing.
Truman wanted the display of power as a warning to the Soviet Union. Secondarily he could show the bombs’ effectiveness at ending the war when explaining to Congress the secret appropriations to the Manhattan Project, says Denson.
“The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.”Admiral William Leahy