Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Our Annual August Debate over the Bombs

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, at Hiroshima on August 6, and Nagasaki on August 9.

Each year, Americans argue about our supposed moral shortcomings for being the only nation to have used an atomic weapon in war.

Given the current cultural revolution that topples statues, renames institutions, cancels out the supposedly politically incorrect, and wages war on America’s past, we will hear numerous attacks on the decision of Democratic president Harry Truman to use the two terrible weapons.

But what were the alternatives that Truman faced had he not dropped the bombs that precipitated Japan’s agreement to surrender less than a week after the bombing of Nagasaki and formally on September 2?

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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