Nevertheless a straight and purely military target would have still had the

Nevertheless a straight and purely military target

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Nevertheless, a straight and purely military target would have still had the shock ef- fect the bomb was originally intended for while also sparing the lives of a tremendous number of noncombatants. Furthermore, the US had planned an invasion on Kyushu on 1 November 1945. The latter involved over 700,000 troops, would approximately cost 25,000 lives 30 and evidently, American leaders sought to avoid it. However, Stalin had announced that the Soviet military would invade Manchuria on 15 August 1945, which was before the US ’  scheduled attack. Hence, another alternative would have been to wait for the Soviet invasion and then drop the bombs had the Japanese still refused to claim defeat. Why didn t Truman wait for the Soviets ’  entry? The of- ficial reason the president gave was that once the atomic bomb was ready, a delay in its use would have resulted in a loss of time and of American lives. Notwithstanding, there is undoubt- edly a slight probability that the attack of Manchuria could have led to a Japanese surrender without the need of using the nuclear weapon, or of invading Kyushu. Overall, if some of these 25  Ibid 26  Ibid 27   Bernstein, Barton J. Gen. Marshall and the Atomic Bombing of Japanese Cities. ”  Arms Control Today (2015). 28  Ibid 29  Ibid 30  Alperovitz, Gar. "Hiroshima: Historians Reassess." Foreign Policy.
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8 alternatives were combined, the use of the bombs could have been unnecessary, and the Ameri- can invasion or the massive deaths of civilians would have been avoided. 31 The fact that these al- ternatives were truly available tears down the long-established myth that there were no other choices. Under other conditions, if we suppose that there were exclusively two options, the argu- ments intended to defend the use the bombs manifest several flaws. The primary justification that remains is that dropping the nuclear weapon saved half a million ”  or hundreds of thousands ”  of American lives. 32 The statements may seem conceivable at first sight because of the atrocity and violence of the war. Yet, there is no actual basis supporting these claims. 33 On the contrary, sub- stantial evidence suggests that the latter were unsound. For instance, the Joint War Plans Com- mittee (JWPC), a high-level advisory group to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concluded that about 40,000 Americans would die in the likely two-stage assault on Japan: southern Kyushu. 34 An- other advisory group, the Joint Staff Planners (JSP) supported these educated guesses ”  as well. Even though pre-Hiroshima accurate estimates were extremely difficult to obtain, most US mili- tary planners approximated the number of casualties between 20,000 and 46,000. 35 Truman might have exceedingly exaggerated the number of American lives saved to prevent citizens doubts about the use of the bomb. The destruction of this myth could unfold questions about whether the decision was justified - morally and military. Another explanation to the decision is that the Japanese were warned prior to the strike. In fact, in the Potsdam Declaration, the US an- 31  Ibid 32  Bernstein, Barton J. "A postwar myth: 500,000 U.S. lives saved."
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