Judgments made concerning the dropping of the atomic bomb must be based on research, rather than sentimentalizing the loss of Japanese lives. If one did not live in July and August of 1945, then before making a decison on the validity behind the atomic bombing, look at the reasons for the determination.
In the first place, America did not want to enter World
War II. However, after the surprise attack onf Pearl Harbor, killing over 2,000 Americans and destroying almost the entire Pacific fleet, it was forced to respond. There was no justification for that bombing!
After the war began, in the European and the Pacific theaters, approximately, 450,000 American lives were lost. Furthermore, 240,000 were wounded. There was no justification for the killing of these American soldiers who had been forced into battle.
In 1945, the Japanese, through diplomatic channels, told the American government that it was unwilling to concede to the allied forces. When the decision was made to drop the bomb, the American President and government warned Japan on several occasions and by several mean. The Japanese were told: the United States had a new bomb beyond all present capabilities and would use it to end the war if Japan did not surrender. No response. The Japanese would never surrender. They were willing to fight until the last woman and child were dead.
During 1945, America and the allied forces, had been bombing Tokyo and other cities constantly. The dead and wounded tolls from these bombings far exceeded the loss of life in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, yet, the conventional bombing failed to persuade Japan.
Japan's latest effort to destroy American forces was the kamikaze strikes. Japanese pilots, willing to commit suicide to kill Americans, would bear down on US ships crashing into them at full speed. Tthe kamikaze suicide attacks on Allied ships just at Okinawa alone had produced horrifying numbers:
34 Allied warships sunk
368 Allied ships damaged
4,900 Allied sailors killed;
and 4,874 Allied sailors wounded.
Japan would never surrender!
What choices did the US have in ending this brutal war?
Yes, civilians were killed. If the bomb were to be dropped, it had to make an impact. Hiroshima was an industrialized city. In addition, it had a huge army base in the vicinity. Remember also that the aircraft of the times were not pinpoint accurate as they are today, so the shape of the city and the weather also played a part in the decisions. The Japanese had to be shown that America was ready to end the war. Japan had to be shown that it had no chance of winning the war. It along with the allies faced more devastation loss in lives. Even though the cost was terrible, the atomic bombs used against Japan were justified. The war had to end to prevent further American and allied loss of life.