Truman

McCullough, David

Touchstone, 1992

pp. 438-39

McCullough reasons that even if the A-bomb attacks on Japan were horrible, a good case can be made that the A-bomb saved many lives–Japanese as well as Americans. In 1945 Japan was scarcely ready to quit. “Japan had some 2.5 million regular troops on the home islands, but every male between the ages of fifteen and sixty, every female from seventeen to forty-five, was being conscripted and armed with everything from ancient brass cannon to bamboo spears, taught to strap explosives to their bodies and throw themselves under advancing tanks.” Maybe 200,000 lives, maybe 250,000 lives were saved by shocking the Japanese into giving up. And from Pearl Harbor to the Kamikaze attacks to the Bataan death march the U. S. had justice on its side.