Every August the Ghouls Come Out
I have always despised authors who write books outing dead people who can’t defend themselves. I feel the same way about the books that come out every August castigating President Truman for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Once again, let’s review some facts. Truman was facing intelligence estimates that an invasion of Japan would cost a million American and many more than a million Japanese casualties. These estimates were based on known plans of Japanese defenders and the bloody results of the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Okinawa, a home island of Japan, resulted in more than 38,000 Americans wounded and 12,000 killed or missing, more than 107,000 Japanese and Okinawan soldiers killed, and perhaps 100,000 Okinawan civilians who perished in the battle. At Iwo Jima, just before Okinawa, 70,000 Americans went ashore and suffered 26,000 casualties and 6800 deaths. Virtually every one of the 22,000 Japanese defenders was killed. Far more casualties were recorded in these two battles than occurred at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Contrast these figures to what is going on in Iraq today.
The final piece to this decision was provided by Japan in the form of Kamikazes, who, in just three months, from October 25, 1944, to January 25, 1945, managed to sink two escort carriers and three destroyers. They also damaged 23 carriers, five battleships, nine cruisers, 23 destroyers and 27 other ships. American casualties amounted to 738 killed and another 1,300 wounded as the result of those attacks. Several thousand Kamikaze planes had been set aside for an invasion of the Japanese mainland that never happened.
President Truman, a Democrat and one of our greatest presidents, should be remembered and honored for the wisdom of this decision. He should also be remembered for the Marshall Plan, which saved Europe, the Truman Doctrine, which saved Greece and possibly Turkey, and the Berlin Airlift, which countered Russian moves to throw the West out. If anyone wants to learn more about this, visit the Truman Library.
After we, who were alive during World War II, are gone, who will tell our grandchildren the truth of this story, and what will they say?