Misconceptions of World War II

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At 2:45 am on the morning of August 6th, 1945, Colonel Paul Tibbets of the 509thComposite Bomb wing lifted off from Tinian, a forward air base in the Marianas en route to Hiroshima, Japan. His plane was a “silverplate” B-29 bomber named Enola Gay, one modified to carry atomic bombs. His mission was to drop the first operational atomic bomb on Hiroshima with the hopes of ending war with Japan in World War II. If successful, the massive destruction caused would ensure Japan’s unconditional surrender, and finally end World War II. But this idea that the atomic bomb was used to end war with Japan, and save American and Japanese lives is not entirely accurate. Most history books have mistakenly taught that this was the major reason for the atom bomb’s usage. The truth is far from this. Most American accounts of the end of World War II state that the use of the Atomic bomb was what ended war with Japan. They also say that it saved many American and Japanese lives which would have been lost if allied forces had to invade the Japanese home islands in the manner used at Normandy for D-Day. This is partly true, because yes, the Japanese had demonstrated near-fanatical resistance, fighting to almost the last man on Pacific islands, committing mass suicide on Saipan and unleashing kamikaze attacks at Okinawa. Also, firebombing had killed 100,000 in Tokyo with no change in Japanese plans to keep on fighting. But they were fighting to defend their Emperor. Prior to the Potsdam Proclamation, the United States had issued a desire for “unconditional surrender” to Japan with the right of Japan to keep its Emperor as leader of the country, but in the actual proclamation, this was left out and it kept the Japanese fighting. Japanese cabinet officials were ready to end war prior to the attack on Hiroshima, but for them to accept surrender without keeping Emperor Hirohito was unacceptable. The Emperor was divine in Japanese eyes, and for him to not lead the country would have...
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