Page 7 Hiroshima Nagasaki Bombs
First of all, there was not complete devastation. We still have Japanese to talk to today. While the city of Hiroshima was destroyed, there were still survivors. Nagasaki was actually only 1/3 destroyed...we more than that to Tokyo and Yokohama with firebombing. You can still go visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki (I have). You, however, cannot speak to a native Jamaican today because that race was totally destroyed.
We didn't have to blow up Japan to show off the the Russians or the rest of the world. We could have done that with mere testing and invited the Russians to come watch. Remember, they were are "ally".
We had bombed Tokyo and Yokohama far worse than what these two bombs did in respect to human life...they did not give up. While you can say it is speculation, what is not speculation is that simple loss of a massive number of civilian lives didn't sway the Japanese before the bombs were dropped. This is not debatable as it is a fact. To say that we lost fewer US soldiers lives as a result of dropping the bombs is fact. If there was a land invasion, we would have naturally met resistance and that resistance would have resulted in more US lives being lost.
These were school girls...the populous of Japan was not going to surrender. More people were going to die then was killed with both of these bombs. Even the Japanese that I know here understand that and they hope that there is no reason to ever have to use them again. There are also many in Japan today that do not want a military again because they are concerned about losing control of it if it were created. I really don't think that in this jaded world today that we can fathom devotion like this and when we see anything close to it...it is scary.
I have only one disagreement with the article and that would be that the military agreed only to surrender because of the request made by the emperor. The military had actually held the emperor under a short lived coup earlier in the war. Also, several in the military was actually plotting against the emperor to make sure he didn't surrender....Source 4
Read a book called American Shogun and it is really scary how close this was to taking place...they only needed one more officer. One more officer falls in line and there is no surrender even after Nagasaki! The book also does a good job of discussing the "options" that were being explored by the Zaibatsu and Doves of Japan. Yes, they had draw up documents trying to get a ceasefire before the US got close enough for a land attack. However, the military was really in charge at the time, so it did not reflect the views of the government. The military had really become totally in charge since the first coup attempt by young officers.
The second bomb was necessary as the Japanese could not agree to surrender. They held votes on surrender, but the military was absolutely against it. They would rather have seen Japan destroyed than to give up as it was a total loss of honor to surrender. As a mater of fact, over 2000 officers ended their lives after the surrender speech was given by Hirohito and before the US forces took over. Even after Nagasaki (which was actually only 1/3 destroyed), the military was still planning for victory.
While I understand your concern over what information is shared and not shared by our government, there is no doubt that Iwa Jima was one of the toughest "2 wk" operations we ever fought. There is no doubt that Midway was bloody hell. They were still finding Japanese soldiers in jungles decades after the war. While I understand your concerns, I cannot agree that the use of such a awesome weapon was used lightly or for mere show. If you read the biographies of Truman, you will know how much this decision weighed on him. He didn't view it in the same light as setting off fireworks for the entertainment and awe of others.
The world was very tired of war. You and I cannot even fathom the feelings of the times and the weariness that war had brought to everyone in the world. By that time, over the previous 30 years, the world was at war about half the time. The wars were becoming more and more difficult.
Most of us only think of Japan in their current sense...economic and non-military. Please read of their actions of the Meiji time period and just prior to the start of WWII.