ATOMIC BOMB SIMULATION
|You are a General
in the United States Army. At the specific request of the President, you
have been invited to appear before the Interim Committee to express your
views on the atomic bomb and its use against Japan. The Committee, after
hearing the views of you and other experts, will then formulate recommendations
and send them to the President. He will make the final decision of whether
or not to use the bomb. It is important that you organize and present your
views as persuasively as possible as your testimony may prove to be the
deciding factor in the decision to drop the bomb. Your presentation will
be limited to five minutes. You may use any or all of the following arguments
as well as any additional arguments. The Committee may direct questions
at you during your presentation so prepare well.
You support the use of the bomb. It has been your goal to end the war as quickly as possible in order to save lives. The use of the atomic bomb will allow us to reach that goal in a short period of time. Current plans, authorized by the President and the Joint Chiefs, call for an invasion of the Japanese Island of Kyushu on November 1, just three months away. Once this objective is secured, an invasion of Honshu is planned. Our intelligence reports indicate these landings will be opposed by over 5,000 Kamikaze aircraft, many more than those which sank 36 of our ships at Okinawa. The Japanese are also planning to use several thousand small boats as suicide craft with which to attack and sink our landing craft and supply ships. Once our troops have landed on these islands, they can expect even more fanatical resistance than was experienced during our island-hopping campaign. The mountainous terrain of the Japanese home islands is even better suited to this type of resistance than were the other islands. It should also be noted that military logic argues that as an enemy is pushed into the smaller area, it becomes stronger. Its forces are more compact and its lines of supply and communication are shorter. All these factors will make the invasion of Japan the most costly operation in the history of the American military. Even though we have only broken through the outer perimeter of the Japanese Empire, we have suffered 300,000 casualties. The initial invasion will cast us over a million additional casualties.
Some people argue that Japan is already defeated. You do not believe this. The Japanese Army is still strong. Their current strength is as follows: 2 million men in the home islands, 2 million in China, 600,000 in the Philippines and other Pacific islands, and finally, 200,000 in Burma, French Indo-China and Thailand. This gives the Japanese almost five million troops available to repel various invasions. While it is true that the Japanese Navy is no longer a factor, you believe it is the Japanese Army which will do the most fighting anyway. And the troops in that Army are still intact and willing to sacrifice themselves defending their homes.
Our B-29 bombers can now fire bomb any city in Japan with little resistance. But if we continue these raids, we will surely kill more people than we will if we drop the bomb. For example, our fire bombing Tokyo in March of this year killed over 145,000 people. Also, we cannot be sure that conventional bombing alone will be enough to bring Japan to its knees. Germany was devastated from the air yet it still took an invasion to force surrender. With the resistance in Okinawa as a lesson, Japan could prove to be much more difficult to defeat. While no one likes the idea of killing other human beings, we must realize that death is a part of war. We cannot escape that unpleasant fact. The difference between death in this war and others is the method and the scale. The mass killing of human beings is a grim reality of this war. The bombing of Dresden, Tokyo and other great cities of the world all cost over 100,000 lives. You believe that the best reason for using the atomic bomb is that it will put an end to the need for further fire bombing and the invasion that would kill millions on both sides.
The war must end. It must end with a victory. It must end with the least possible sacrifice of lives. We have the weapon to accomplish all of these objectives. As leaders, we must dare to lead. The bomb must be used.