Nagasaki was bombed three days after Hiroshima. It was an alternative target; the first choice was Kokura, but it was obscured by thick clouds. The damage from the bomb was less than at Hiroshima because of the hills surrounding Nagasaki, and the death toll (40,000) was about half. The scene at ground zero was equally horrific: blackened bodies, burned children, women, and elderly people.
The morality of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is constantly debated now, not when the decision was made to drop the bombs. President Harry Truman did not hesitate. Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain stated, “There was unanimous, automatic, unquestioning agreement.”
The Japanese were warned by a message sent from Washington, to surrender or be destroyed. If they refused the weapon was to be used. Even after the bombs were dropped, the Japanese Imperial Council voted 3 for and 3 against surrendering. The emperor broke the tie by ordering the government to accept the Potsdam Peace Agreement, which demanded Japan’s unconditional surrender. It was estimated that Japan had over 2 million soldiers in the home islands. It was also estimated that we would suffer ½ million soldiers killed and ½ million maimed for life. Mr. Truman made the decision to drop the bomb all by himself. After he made the decision, he had no second thoughts on whether it was the right or wrong decision.
Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, the pilot who the dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, met Sharfi Tabuchi, who was a child in Nagasaki when the bomb was dropped, many years after the war. Tabuchi, at the time, owned the Tabuchi Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Tibbets and his friends were visiting the theatre. When learning that Tibbets was there, Tabuchi ensured that Tibbets had special seats for himself and his guests. His wife also told Tibbets she would be honored if he would hold her baby. Tabuchi had become a United States citizen a...