Final Paper

More civilians were predicted to die in the invasion

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Unformatted text preview: aze was expected from the Japanese people by both sides of the war. In this way, the invasion would not only have killed and wounded 250,000 U.S. troops, but would have inflicted even more mass casualties on both the Japanese military and civilian populations. While one can only speculate, it would not be unreasonable to assert that, from the 2 million lives that had already been lost, even more than this would be given in defense of the mainland. Both Japanese soldiers and civilians would have fought and died in defense of their country. More civilians were predicted to die in the invasion and subsequent campaign than in the atomic bombs (Goodheart 138). The 250,000 casualties inflicted by the atomic bombs would pale in comparison to the deaths at the hands of an invasion, both for the Allied and Japanese forces. As a caveat to the main argument, it was not even necessary to consider Japanese casualties when making this decision. If it was possible to save a friendly soldier’s life by killing an enemy civilian (a civilian that would turn into an enemy combatant at that) on the grand scale that Truman had to view things, it seems that there is little decision to be made. The primary responsibility of a leader is to protect the citizens of his nation and any competent leader would have made this decision. A common anecdote that President Truman used was the hypothetical addressing of the wives and mothers of dead soldiers and admitting that the atomic bomb would have saved their man’s life. Having to acknowledge to the women of the United States that he alone was responsible for these deaths would have been detrimental to President Truman’s administration and his credibility as a leader who is mean...
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