August 8, 2005

Slanted A-Bomb History

Carroll Andrew Morse

Saturday’s Projo article on Atomic Bomb revisionism contains at least one highly, highly disingenuous point.

The well-known hawk, Gen. Curtis LeMay, publicly declared shortly after the bombings that the war would have been over in two weeks, and that the atomic bomb had nothing to do with bringing about Japan's surrender.
If General LeMay thought the war could have been ended in two weeks, it was because he thought that was how long it would take to burn the country to the ground with napalm instead of the new atomic technology. This is from Victor Davis Hanson’s much more informative article at National Review Online.
In some sense, Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only helped to cut short the week-long Soviet invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria (80,000 Japanese soldiers killed, over 8,000 Russian dead), but an even more ambitious incendiary campaign planned by Gen. Curtis LeMay. With the far shorter missions possible from planned new bases in Okinawa and his fleet vastly augmented by more B-29s and the transference from Europe of thousands of idle B-17s and B-24, the ‘mad bomber’ LeMay envisioned burning down the entire urban and industrial landscape of Japan. His opposition to Hiroshima was more likely on grounds that his own fleet of bombers could have achieved the same result in a few more weeks anyway.
Is there any reason to believe that the rest of the facts from the Projo op-ed have been any less slanted?