“Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of surviving Japanese leaders involved . . . certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bomb had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.” –United States Strategic Bombing Survey: Summary Report (Pacific War)
August 6 marks the destruction of Hiroshima and the annual op-ed obeisance to civic mythology. Serious men will echo the conclusion of prominent mainstream historians such as John Gaddis: “Having acquired this awesome weapon, the United States used it against Japan for a simple and straightforward reason: achieve victory, as quickly, as decisively, as economically as possible.” Once again, post hoc arguments will be received wisdom: The Japanese surrendered six days after the bomb destroyed Nagasaki; therefore, the bomb ended the war. Not only that, the bomb was a blessing in disguise: It avoided the need for Operation Olympic – the invasion of Japan that would have taken untold numbers of American and Japanese lives. Revisionist historians – if they’re cited – will reject such reasoning and stress a fact hidden in plain sight: The defeat of Japan was a foregone conclusion prior to August. 67 firebombed cities lay in ruins, and American forces had decimated the Japanese military.
Debate about dropping the bomb should have ended long ago, very long ago, July 1, 1946 to be precise. The implication of the document published on that date, and cited above, is inescapable – the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was gratuitous. The document is not the product of reviled revisionist historians who dare to dispute comforting civic mythology. The sorely neglected, inconvenient truth is found in the official US War Department document just cited: the United States Strategic Bombing Survey: Summary Report (Pacific War). The War Department Survey recounts the anticipated outcome of terrorism with an American accent: “As might be